Business

3 Important Points for New Businesses Regarding International Money Transfer

When you are starting a new business and have suppliers and customers both at home and abroad, the odds are that you will need to make multiple international money transfers in short time frames. In fact, the odds are that as a new entrepreneur, you may have to order your supplies in bulk least you lose your local market due to a paucity of your products, even before you commence making inroads in the Australian market.

One of the most important things to do is to compare the various agents, agencies and financial institutions that specialise in such money transfers. In fact, this is why you should firstly research the leading global money transfer providers.

You should always rely on the mainstream: At least in the beginning

Of course there are many ‘ad hoc’ money transfer agents that rely on peer to peer networks to bypass the mainstream financial institutions to send money abroad. However, from a new business or an entrepreneurial start up point of view, it would make sound sense to stick to the tried and tested routes. The last thing you want is for your precious monetary resources to disappear in some sort of black hole, with irate suppliers refusing to extend you any credit, while you try and track your money or in any way figure out a way from this unfortunate impasse.

Don’t make banks your ‘default’ setting

Just because you are running a business, it is not necessary that you only opt for a well-known bank for all your international money transactions, per se. Yes, it is certainly true that it is more convenient to work with a bank, especially if you already maintain an account there and can use your online banking account to make transactions, but remember that such convenience comes attached with a hefty price tag and that is why you may not be interested in making such transactions multiple times, in a single month.

Moreover, it is also prudent to note that many banks have a minimum transfer requirement. This means that the amount that you want to send has to equate that that stipulated limit or the transaction will not be allowed. Many banks in Australia have a minimum 500-dollar threshold.

On the other hand, should you be a high-volume customer, they may give you some special discount, depending of course, on the volume of profit you generate for them. There are various online sites where you can compare rates in different currencies all over the world.

Economies of scale

As a rule, it will always be more cost effective when it comes to transferring money in bigger amounts than smaller ones. Larger amounts mean ‘economies of scale’. Therefore, you may well be able to take advantage of significantly larger discounts, should the same be offered to you. You may also consider bundling your online orders together and send the money en masse to avail such discounts.

Ultimately, it is up to you to do your research well before opting for any specific service provider.

Debt Management

Do you need a debt consolidation attorney?

Debt consolidation is a process by which you can take one loan to pay off multiple debts. Debt consolidation loans help borrowers in two ways. Firstly, the rate of interest on the consolidated loan is much lower than that of the accumulated rate of interest on their multiple debts. Secondly, by bringing all the debts together, this program helps borrowers to keep track of all their debts in an easier fashion.

Once a borrower signs up for such a program, the debt specialists start negotiating rates with creditors. Needless to mention, this option is primarily availed by borrowers who are facing some financial hardship owing to which they find it difficult to make their repayments on time. A debt consolidation lawyer assumes a very important role in the entire procedure. You cannot really expect your creditors to be driven by the best of your interests in mind in the whole negotiation process. It is the debt consolidation attorney who will be focused on reducing your debts as much as possible. Given below are a few reasons why you should consider roping in a debt negotiation attorney.

Reasons for getting in touch with a debt consolidation attorney

The collection agencies are quite experienced when it comes to negotiating settlements. All the year round, these collection agencies speak to hundreds of customers who are not able to repay their loans on time. So, it is very difficult to make them bend when they are negotiating.  However, the scenario becomes quite different with a debt negotiation attorney by your side. When these collection agencies carry on discussions with the attorneys they are fully aware of the fact that they need to take the matter more seriously and as such they are bound to offer you the flexibility that you deserve as a borrower.

Please remember that negotiations can get quite intense and stressful. This will definitely hurt the overall quality of your life. A lawyer can prevent this from happening as they have the knowledge of the loopholes of the collection agencies (which laymen, in general do not have). They will apply their high pressure tactics without fail in order to ensure that your rights as a consumer are not flouted.

Choose an attorney wisely

Please ensure that you are selecting the attorney wisely. Choose an individual like Alex Spiro, or a company with accreditation to the Chamber of Commerce (USA). The accreditation implies that the company is a legitimate one and will work keeping the best of your interests in view.

Insurance

New Surgeries and Medical Treatments Can Save Your Pet’s Life — At a Price

Pets are members of the family. We want them to be happy and healthy. With new medical treatments and surgeries available, dogs and cats are beating cancer, overcoming genetic defects and improving heart conditions to live longer, higher quality lives. These new surgical techniques and medical advancements come at a hefty price, however. No one wants to have to euthanize a beloved pet because they can’t pay for treatment. There are cost-effective ways to keep pets healthy and give them the best veterinary care possible. Here are three tips to do just that.

  1. Purchase pet insurance:  A quick look at this infographic about pet insurance shows the average costs of a variety of veterinary procedures. For example, cancer treatments can cost over $5,000. Treating a pet with pneumonia can be as much as $8,300. Surgery to remove a foreign object can cost $3,000 or more. Even routine treatments, such as annual wellness exams, vaccinations and spay/neuter surgeries can wreak havoc on a budget. Pet insurance is affordable. Costs depend on the coverage you choose and specific factors about your pet. Shop around to find the best coverage at the best price. Pet insurance is an investment in your pet’s well-being as well as a smart way to pay a little and avoid unexpected high costs in the future.
  2. Feed your pet right: When you’re on a budget, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeding pets the least expensive food. The problem is that dog or cat food that does not meet the pet’s nutritional requirements can cause health issues that are expensive to manage. Cheap pet food is often full of “filler” ingredients that cause the pet to eat more and lead to obesity. Speak with your veterinarian about your pet’s nutritional requirements. By spending a little more for a higher quality food that meets your pet’s needs, you may avoid some of the illnesses related to poor diet later on.
  3. Pet-proof your home: Ingestion of foreign or poisonous objects is one of the most expensive and common reasons for emergency vet visits. A few precautions can save you from high veterinary bills and save your pet from suffering or even death. Lock cleaning supplies up. Keep human medications out of reach. Grapes, raisins, onions and other human foods are dangerous if ingested. Some plants are toxic. Electrical cords are attractive to some pets, particularly the young. Fix problems before something bad happens. Make sure your home is pet-safe.

The Humane Society of America offers this advice if you are having trouble affording veterinary care:

  • Prepare by purchasing pet insurance.
  • Negotiate with your vet. Ask for a payment plan.
  • Call different veterinarians around your region. Charges often vary substantially from one office to the next.
  • If you need help with vaccinations or spay/neuter surgeries, look for low-cost clinics or programs.
  • Look online for veterinary care assistance programs.
  • Contact local shelters and ask about low-cost services. Many have in-house clinics or work with veterinarians who are willing to reduce their rates in specific circumstances.

PET-INSURANCE-REVIEW-03-01

Infographic from https://www.petinsuranceu.com/pet-insurance-infographic

Videos

Quick Tip Thursday: Buy Books Cheap

In todays quick tip I’m going to tell you how I buy books cheap. I love to buy books so it can get pretty expensive. I’ve come to learn a way to get them pretty cheap with the only sacrifice being new. That’s right I buy used books. But in this video I’ll show you a trick I use to buy used books really cheap.

I just wanted to give you a quick tip today about buying books online on the cheap.  First, go to Half.com.  Don’t buy from them, they tend to have very high shipping rates, around $3.  So you will find the books that you want from Half.com.  After you have found the book you want, go to the other sellers and under the different sellers you will see other big companies.  Choose one of the big companies, like Better World Books.  Go to their actual site, find the book and buy from them.  The main reason for doing this is that these companies often have better shipping rates.  For example at Better World Books the shipping is free.  It takes about 11 days but is still free.  Expedited shipping is affordable as well, like 99 cents.  You can’t beat that.  Today’s quick tip: go to half.com, find the companies that are selling the books and order directly from them.  This will help you save some money while buying books online.

Money Management

Five Money Saving Tips for the 21st Century

We’ve all heard how important it is to build up personal savings, but so few people actually have any type of substantial savings.  If saving money is as easy as most financial experts purport it be, why aren’t more people successful at doing so?  Quite simply, it’s because saving money requires personal discipline.  Practicing personal discipline in the 21st century is incredibly difficult due to our commercialized culture.

Everywhere you look there is an invitation to spend money.  Turn on the television and what do you see?  Commercials galore.  Go to a movie and before the previews start there are commercials.  Some restaurants have even started selling advertising space in their menus.  Our current multimedia and digital age gives the average advertiser far more exposure to the consumer than in decades past.  As consumers we are flooded with marketing, selling us the idea that we need extra things to make us happy – even if we cannot truly afford such things.

The following are five tips that can help anyone break the cycle of spending and begin the habit of saving.

1. Pay yourself first

If you’ve heard this tip before but ignored it, it’s time to start paying attention.  We’ve all seen what happens on payday.  When payday rolls around the first thing most people do is immediately spend.

Bills need to be paid, grocery shopping needs to be done, and recreation needs to be had.  When the paycheck is almost all used up, whatever pathetic amount is left over is sometimes allocated towards savings but there are no guarantees.  More often than not some other unforeseen expense creeps up and drains the leftovers.

It’s time to face an important reality: If you don’t pay yourself first, chances are you won’t do it later.

 

It’s recommended that you put away ten percent of every paycheck.  That might sound like a lot at first but the sooner you start doing it the less impact your budget will feel.  Look for places in your monthly budget/expenses where you can trim some fat to make up the difference of what you’ll lose by allocating ten percent to savings.

If ten percent sounds like a wildly unreasonable amount, start with five percent and work your way up to ten.  If you want to walk on the wild side, try 15 or 20 percent!

2. Put your savings out of sight

Ever heard the saying “Out of sight, out of mind?”  Well that rings especially true with money.  A $20 bill sitting on the kitchen table isn’t going to last very long in any house.  Twenty dollars sitting in an interest bearing savings account could likely survive a whole year if you forgot about it.

One of the tricks to saving money is to stash your savings in a place that makes it difficult to make a withdrawal.  Here are a few ideas for making your savings more elusive:

  • Don’t use your regular bank for a savings account.  If at all possible, use another bank – one out of the way, or even out of state.
  • Set up reoccurring automatic withdrawals from your regular checking account into your savings account.  For example, ask your bank to withdrawal $25 every Friday and deposit it into your savings account.
  • Check with your employer to see if they will allow you to split your direct deposit.  Many employers can take a percentage of your paycheck and deposit it into a different account than your normal checking account.
  • Don’t use a checking account.  You want to make it difficult for yourself to make withdrawals from your savings so it’s important not to have a debit card or paper checks connected to the account.

3. Use less plastic and more paper

Debit and credit cards are ultra convenient.  They make transactions so much easier.  However, sometimes they can cause us to lose track of how much we’ve been spending.  In this era it’s pretty difficult to not use any type of debit or credit card, but there are some expenses where it’s not necessary.

As an experiment, try putting yourself on a cash budget for certain line items in your budget where you’d like to cut back.  One example is food.  It’s very easy to spend a lot of money eating out or grocery shopping.  Set your monthly food budget and at the beginning of the month withdrawal the full amount in cash.

Put the cash in an envelope and put it in a safe place in your house.  For the entire month, only use money from the envelope for food-related purchases.  When the money runs out, that’s it.  No pulling money from elsewhere.  You’ll be amazed at how clever you can be when you absolutely must stick to a budget.

4. Keep the change

Have you ever gone on a change hunt in your home?  Change is lurking in all sorts of interesting places.  That change may seem insignificant, but it quickly adds up.  Make it a practice to regularly spend an hour or so gathering the spare change around the house.  Check under sofa cushions, in the laundry room, in pants pockets and all around.

There are many services that will cash in your change for dollar bills.  Coinstar.com is one of them.  Coinstar has kiosks in many grocery stores where you can simply dump all your change while the machine counts it and spits out a receipt you then redeem at the checkout stand for cash.  Doesn’t get much easier than that.  Take that cash and immediately deposit it into your savings account!

Another tip for saving change is to establish a change/money jar somewhere in your home.  Every time you find spare change or dollar bills, drop them in the jar.  Empty your pockets at the end of every day.  Whatever you do, don’t take money out of the jar and spend it!

5. Ignore unexpected income

We’ve all been blessed with some unexpected income.  It might be some birthday money.  It might be a bonus from work.  It might be a lonely $100 bill you found on your morning jog.  The reality is our first inclination when we come across extra money is to spend it.

Start a new habit and put any new and unexpected income directly into savings.  If you really think about it, it’s money you didn’t expect in the first place so you’ll never miss it when it’s gone!

These are just a few easy (and not so easy) tips to get you started down the path of true financial freedom.  Stop living paycheck to paycheck and embrace the lifestyle of saving.  The peace of mind you get by stacking up savings is worth the temporary sacrifice.

What ways do you use to save money?

photo credit: paul (dex)